In Matthew 10:34 we read: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace but a sword.” And then verse 35 goes on: “For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And man’s foes will be those of his own household.”
Now, you see, when we are unsaved, we are at peace with our unsaved friends and neighbors and loved ones, because we’re all citizens of the same kingdom. We’re of the kingdom of Satan, and we together are antagonistic toward Christ. But among ourselves, while we might fight and squabble and quarrel amongst ourselves, basically we are at peace with each other, and our common foe is the kingdom of Christ. That is the nature of the world. The unsaved are the slaves of Satan, and Satan is the bitter enemy of Christ.
Now if I’m in that kind of a situation, and now I become saved, I have changed my allegiance. I have moved into the other country that we have been at war with, and have become a citizen of the other country, namely, a citizen of the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so I am no longer at peace with my friends and my loved ones. I’m at war with them. I have joined the enemy.
And it may be that I’ll have to leave my family. In some lands there is great tolerance toward the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And you can be the only one who is saved in your household. But in other lands, this would not be possible at all. In many lands, if you become a born again believer, you will be ostracized by your village. You will be driven out of your family. You cannot remain.
And so verse 37 goes on: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross ant follow Me is not worthy of Me.” And the cross that we take is the suffering that we will experience as we live for Christ. And it’s the cross that we take as we crucify the flesh and its desires, the things that appeal to our eye, to the lusts of the flesh, which we must put to death in our life by the grace of God.